Roland VAD706 Electronic Drum Set Review - The Best E-Drums
What’s the difference between a great set of acoustic drums, and a great electronic drum set? Up until fairly recently, the answer has been looks, feel, performance and sound. Roland’s flagship VAD-706 dramatically closes the gap between the two, and we’ll explain how.
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking the VAD-706 was an acoustic drum set. From a distance the 5-piece V-Drums Acoustic Design kit with full-size wood shells and double-braced chrome stands looks every bit like its acoustic counterpart. The traditional e-drums rack is noticeably absent, which is a welcome change for many people. This acoustic-like setup occupies a slightly bigger footprint than their non-VAD models, but the familiar feel in the driver’s seat is a welcome trade-off for some.
The drum shells are, in fact, drum shells. Identical in every way to a traditional ply-constructed drum (sans bearing edges), the four available finishes rival those found on most high-end acoustic drum sets.
TD-50X Module - Acoustic Sounds and Beyond
For decades, Roland’s flagship e-drum modules have been the industry benchmark for sample quality, granular level user control, and overall reliability. The TD-50X is unsurprisingly no exception.
Imagine acoustic drums that are set up, mic’d, processed, and mixed in a world-class studio - that’s pretty much what you get when you call up a preset on the TD-50X module. Developed alongside pro drummers and recording engineers, these quality-sounding kits let you take on any style at the touch of a button, from smooth jazz to aggressive metal.
With the TD-50X you can make quick adjustments to tuning and muffling, or dive deep and build a kit from the ground up by selecting shell depths, drumhead types, cymbal characteristics, and more. Furthermore, you can simulate the space of your choice using PureAcoustic Ambience, with full control of room type, reverberation, and other parameters which are easily accessible through the somewhat intuitive interface.
Here's a great EXCLUSIVE benefit of buying your next Roland from the Drum Center of Portsmouth - our DCP Sample Library! When you purchase your Roland from us, you'll receive access to our high-quality catalog of premium drum samples. This library is ever-expanding, allowing you exclusive downloads of our favorite drum recordings!
As we’ve come to expect from a premium Roland Module - there are a pantload of ins and outs! Stereo XLR master outs and eight TRS direct outs allow you to send any drums you like to an audio console via balanced connections. For computer-based music production, you have the ability to send up to 32 channels of digital audio over USB for premium-quality transfer. MIDI I/O is also supported over USB and traditional five-pin connectors.
Feel and Response
Without a doubt, the biggest discrepancy between Acoustic and Electronic Drums and cymbals is the response and feel. Nothing rips you out of the electronic drumming experience like a missed trigger on your bass drum or hi-hats.
Roland’s revamped digital pad technology is a tangible step forward in e-drumming. Precision multi-sensors in the snare, ride, and hi-hat pads work in synchronicity with the TD-50X module, capturing every nuance with remarkable detail. Lightning-fast detection enables you to play all your natural acoustic techniques, such as muting the ride with a finger touch or switching seamlessly between head, rimshot, and cross stick playing on the snare. The VH-14D electronic hi-hats are objectively the best feeling e-hats on the market, offering touch sensitivity, tonal variation, and open/closed resolution that is in a league of their own.
VAD706 drums feature Roland’s famous multi-ply mesh heads, with three-layer heads on the snare and floor tom and two-layer heads on the rack toms for a more natural stick rebound that can be tweaked for your playing style. Burying the beater into the specially designed kick drum feels good, thanks to physical air resistance that feels notably similar to an acoustic kick. This pleasing feel also extends to the toms, with the genuine plywood shells and traditional mounts lending to a feel that’s undoubtedly acoustic in nature.
All of these advancements in EVERY category that counts comes at a price. These drums are not inexpensive, but in our opinion are not OVERPRICED. The VAD-706 is heavy duty machinery that, in the right situation, is a solid investment. Roland’s are built to last AND retain their resale value better than any other electronic drums on the market. For many of us, acoustic drum sets are not a viable option for our living situation. These drums and cymbals are the closest many can get to the real thing, allowing us to improve our chops while doing what we love. That, my drumming friends, is priceless. Also, we offer financing!